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  • Writer's pictureChristine Willard

Tips to Engage Your Child in Learning and Support Their Emotional Health in Quarantine

"Virtual learning" for many parents, and their young children, is becoming increasingly challenging now that it has been over six weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our Lady Star of the Sea Preschool and Kindergarten teacher, Laura Schwartz offers strategies and tools to parents and caregivers to work through learning engagement challenges, as well as, supporting the emotional health of their child.

Common concerns and questions:

What do I do when my child does not want to do his or her schoolwork?

Having a child complete a task in a classroom environment is completely different than at home. While schools are closed, we want children to maintain a positive attitude to avoid any extra traumatic feelings when it is time to return to the classroom.

At this time, it is important for you, as the parent or caregiver, to be aware when your young child has reached the point of frustration. When this happens, allow your child to choose their own activity (preferably avoiding screen time). YES, even if they just want to play! Playing is learning at this age and can open the door to so many discussions and teaching opportunities. This is a chance to allow your child to lead the way!

What if I do not have time to play my child?

That is okay too! Children can explore and discover on their own, usually with minimal supplies. If your child is having a difficult time playing on their own, try setting a timer. Let your child know you will come play when the timer goes off. By that time, they may have discovered a game they can play all on their own!

How do I talk to my child about the coronavirus with my preschool or kindergarten child?

Be honest. You can give your child accurate information while using language that they understand. For example:

“There is a germ that is spreading from person to person. To stop the germ from spreading and making people sick, we need to stay inside and make sure we wash our hands.”

If you sense your child is feeling stressed or overwhelmed by this be sure to give encouraging words such as “we’re going to stay inside together” or “we’ll be safe if we stay home and do what the doctors tell us.” your best to avoid news channels or in-depth adult discussions while your little one is in the room.